Purbeck’s perfect scenic journey & premium customer care!
Beautiful bays, bright lights and brilliant customer service – the Purbeck Breezer 50 service from Bournemouth to Swanage says ‘goodbye’ to a successful summer but ‘hello’ to October and the run up to Christmas! Here at Great Scenic Journeys, we’re delighted that the route, which is operated by Go Ahead Group’s marvellous Morebus, achieved Premium Customer Service Rating in the mystery shopping reviews that we undertake of the routes across the Great Scenic Journeys collection, testing all aspects of the entire customer experience.
One Reviewer commented in his Assessment that “the standard of care shown by the drivers to customers taking time to go up and down the stairs was exemplary. The care shown by a driver to a person on a mobility scooter boarding with her carer in taking out the ramp for them to board and alight on their scooter was the best I have ever seen – it was quite moving to see this”.
Another remarked that “the quality of the experience on the route was fantastic, with excellent punctuality and reliability”.
All of the Great Scenic Journeys reviews follow detailed scoring criteria and provide recommendations for improvement. Even for those routes that achieve Premium Rating, there’s always areas to get even better and we work with bus companies, such as Morebus, to go through scores, findings and suggestions.
Whilst the open top vehicles shunt back to the depot in the Autumn and are replaced by buses with a roof on to protect folk from the elements, this is a route that is entrancing all year round and blows the cobwebs away! What’s more, the Purbeck Breezer 50 is the bus that boards a ferry, leaving behind the eclecticism of Bournemouth, through palatial Sandbanks and its peninsula, then across the water to the idyllic Studland Bay.
Straight over the water in Studland, there’s a nudist beach and in the kind of true customer-centric manner that helped it achieve Premium Rating (!), we’re thoughtfully reminded by the Morebus website, “don’t forget to cover back up before hopping back on board!” Phew, it’s easily forgotten, perhaps, given there’s a lot to be distracted with on the ‘Fab Fifty’ route. It’s a journey that combines majestic cliffs with beautiful heathered fields and starts with good old fashioned seaside frivolities in Bournemouth, including ‘kiss me quick’ delights on the Pier and ends with the smell of coal being fired up on the Swanage steam railway. Listen to the puffing and panting from trains making their way to Norden past Corfe Castle.
Swanage is a cracking place to visit, not just the railway, but also the Pier and the seafront, with the fabulous Mowlem Theatre, Cinema and Showbar. Be sure to also check out the Swanage Museum and Heritage Centre for the lowdown on the history, geology and geography of this amazing town and surrounding area.
Harry, ‘hairy’ and Halloween!
Apart from the obvious thrill and quirk of being on a bus that’s sitting stationary on top of a moving ferry, our favourite part of the journey is Studland Bay with its long sandy beach stretching over 3 miles and bordered by dunes and heathland, with all sorts of rare plants and bird species. There’s stunning views of the Isle of Wight and Purbeck Hills and the beach is part of the Studland Nature Reserve and famous for Old Harry Rocks. It’s not a tribute to nearby Sandbanks resident, ex football manager, Harry Redknapp, but instead, it is believed to have been given its name from either a famous pirate or a local legend. The exact origin is a blend of history and folklore.
One popular legend attributes the name to a notorious pirate named Harry Paye, who was active in the area during the 14th century. It is said that the rocks were a hiding spot for his ship and loot, hence earning the name “Old Harry” Rocks. Another theory suggests that “Old Harry” is a corruption of the word “hairy,” referring to the tufted appearance of the rocks. The word “hairy” in the local dialect could have been misunderstood and morphed into “Harry” over time.
Folklore also tells a tale of ghosts and ghoulies around this part of Dorset and during the Autumn half-term, the National Trust is organising a ‘wicked wildlife family trail’ at Studland, where folk are encouraged to “visit the witches apothecary to cast a revolting spell, play ‘I’m a kid…get me out of here!’ by guessing what’s in the box, work your way through a spider cave, find bats, make a broomstick and uncover some gross wildlife stories!” Studlands wicked wildlife trail | National Trust
Be sure not to feel too spooked by the end of Summer as the Purbeck Breezer 50 is a bus (and ferry!) journey with so many ‘days out’ or Staycation opportunities and it’s as beautiful with its trees and shrubs lit up with autumn colours as it is in the height of Summer. With the forecast set great for this weekend, they’ll be one last sunny swansong in any place to combine with the red, brown and gold of September! This is a route that cuts through the heart of Dorset life and beauty, with great walks aplenty, in particular up to Durlston Country Park to continue exploring the Isle of Purbeck or emanating from Corfe Castle if you carry on from the bus on the Swanage Railway, maybe detouring to visit the famous Scott Arms for a swift pint, or two (see below!).
As our surveys have shown and some of the great feedback we’ve also received from customers, the Purbeck Breezer is the very best around when it comes to customer service, summed up in our final review by one of our mystery shoppers who concluded “The branding is excellent, information on the bus stops is first class and the actual delivery both mechanically in the vehicles and the appearance and manner of the driving is excellent”.
To find out more about this fabulous route, including how to get there from wherever you may be and also places to see, visit and a great curated walk, then check out Purbeck Breezer 50 – Great Scenic Journeys